A survey in the UK has asked 2574 NHS clinicians about their attitudes to health care settings as smoke-free environments. The results showed clear differences between general healthcare staff in comparison to staff in mental health settings.
While only 1 in 10 general healthcare staff disagreed with a smoking ban in their wards or clinics, as many as 1 in 3 psychiatric staff were against such a ban in their setting.
In consultation on the recent Health Act (2006), the government has proposed that only those premises that provide long-term accommodation will be exempt from the smoke free legislation.
Many staff worry that introducing a smoking ban in mental health units is unfair and will cause confrontation between patients and staff.
Previous research, however, has consistently shown that this is not the case and that no-smoking policies in mental health settings rarely result in significant disruption.
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